Movie Review – The Hangover Part III (2013)

The Hangover Part III, 2013.

Directed by Todd Phillips.
Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, and John Goodman.


This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.

After making more money than they’d ever thought possible back in 2009, The Hangover is back  for its third (and possibly final) entry. After the horribly formulaic second movie, director Todd Phillips and co-writer Craig Mazin have decided to shake things up this time round in an attempt to breathe some life into the tired format. The results? A very, very unfunny movie.

Let me just stress before we continue that I actually quite liked the first movie. At the time it felt like an original idea that provided some good gags, but it did lose its appeal on repeated viewings. The sequel on the other hand suffered from Malibu Stacey New Hat syndrome as it was the exact same movie but with a different background. My problem with The Hangover Part III however is even more simple – it’s just not funny. At all.

When you see a comedy, you expect to laugh. It’s sort of a prerequisite of the genre. I didn’t laugh once during The Hangover Part III – not once. Not even a giggle. Not even a titter. Not even a smirk. Nothing. Rather than having my sides hurt from laughter, my jaw hurt from yawning.

Phillips and Mazin clearly came to the conclusion that the most popular aspects of The Hangover are Zack Galifianakis’ Alan and Ken Jeong’s Mr Chow. With that in mind, the shake-up of the formula has brought them to the forefront of the movie and focusses the plot around them. This is problematic however because neither character is funny. In fact for the most part, they’re just plain annoying. In the first Hangover, Alan was the simple man-child who was just there to say something wacky and he was fine in that role, but when you put him front and centre the cracks begin to show. The same goes for Mr Chow who has gone from small cameo fodder to feature character and let me tell you that his shtick, which wasn’t funny to begin with, is irritating beyond all recognition.

With Alan and Chow front and centre, it does mean that poor Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper are pushed to the back with virtually nothing to do but help drag the plot move forward. The “brilliance” (for lack of a better word) of the original movie was that these two were the everyday men who find themselves in a wacky situation – but The Hangover Part III is just wacky characters doing wacky things with horribly unfunny consequences.

I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s almost impressive how unfunny The Hangover Part III is. They try everything to get a laugh – a CGI giraffe losing its head, Alan taking his t-shirt off, Mr Chow getting naked, Alan putting a lollypop in a woman’s mouth, Mr Chow eating dog food, fighting coked up roosters and none of it works. Not one of the lame jokes or lines of dialogue in this movie made me laugh.

The Hangover Part III is just rubbish. If ever there was a movie that didn’t need to become a franchise, it was The Hangover. It’s just annoying people doing unfunny things for what feels like an eternity. At the start of the year people were claiming Movie 43 to be the “Worst Movie Ever” because it wasn’t funny – but that at least got one or two laughs from me. This brought nothing. I’ll give them an ‘A’ for effort for at least trying this time round, but a massive ‘F’ for implementation. Pure crap.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★   / Movie: ★

Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth’s co-editors and the host of the Month in Review show for Flickering Myth’s Podcast Network. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.

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